Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Tijuana, Mexico: Feds say, "No luck here, so it's on to Acapulco."

The federal force that descended on Tijuana to take on the drug lords, specifically the Tijuana cartel formerly led by the Arellano Félix brothers, has pulled out some of its men and headed for Acapulco, Guerrero. Mexican Attorney General Eduardo Medina Mora admitted that the Tijuana cartel was too highly organized to crush with just the decapitation of its leadership.

Medina Mora compared today's Tijuana to 1920's Chicago. You may recall some of these names: Big Jim Colosimo, John Torrio, Al Capone, Dion O'Banion, Chicago Mayor Big Bill Thompson, Hymie Weiss and the O'Donnells as well as the takeovers of the Illinois towns of Cicero, Burnham and Stickney.

Medina Mora says that the cartel has managed to continue its operations and replace its fallen leaders after the arrests of Francisco Javier "El Tigrillo" Arellano Félix, Arturo "El Nalgón" Villarreal, and the executions of brother Ramón Arellano Félix and Fabián "El Tiburón" Martínez González, among others . . . many others.

Local police say that the Arellano Félix-run Tijuana cartel has been able to overcome the onslaught of federal forces by means of its superior logistics and its network of corruption that spreads through local, state and federal government offices. They say the cartel has organized itself into small, semi-autonomous cells comprised of a boss and 50-100 members. If one cell goes down, another slides over to absorb its remaining members and resume its activities.

Whack-a-Mole, anyone?

It has gotten so bad in Tijuana that police officers riding around in their cars are being threatened over their own police radio frequencies. Police have to listen to threats of torture and beheadings as well as threats against their families. That would be a bit disconcerting, no? "Car 54, where are you? It doesn't matter. We're going to find you and cut your heads off no matter where you are." Jeez.

Late last week the federal forces disarmed the police to begin checking their weapons against forensics reports from the more than 300 gangland style executions in the city last year. The feds also disarmed the Industrial and Bank Police who are paid for by private industry and banking concerns. That precipitated a mad rush by wealthy people to San Diego. This police force also guards the wealthy and their families as well as business and banking executives from kidnapping.

Not only did the suddenly under protected wealthy skeedaddle, but many now naked cops stayed home rather than hit the streets with no hardware. I can't blame them. The dirty ones are marked for death by their enemies on one side or another and the few clean ones are marked for death by just about everbody.

Six days after the feds arrived, the gangs executed 4 in Tijuana and 1 more in Mexicali. A 2 year-old girl also died when her fatally wounded father lost control of his vehicle and crashed.

The Mexican populace and, it would seem, many federal authorities expected some kind of "shock and awe" operation to make an immediate impact. No way, José. It took US federal authorities almost 10 years to bring down Al Capone and they knew who he was and where he was and what he was doing every minute of every day during those ten years. Had Capone been as organized as the Arellano Félix brothers, he might have died in his Florida mansion from the effects of syphilis without ever having spent a day in prison.

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